As soon as I entered the public toilet in the deserted changing room I knew I was in trouble. The walls were unbearably close, and covered in a thin later of fine soil.
The black plastic seat in front of me was cold and also covered in the same sprinkling of earth.
I could barely turn around, let alone undo my trousers – but the need was pressing, so (with great difficulty) I did – and once I was unbuttoned I attempted to sit down.
At this point the walls (which were already touching my shoulders) closed in a little more, and I realised I was wedged.
As I was assessing how to get out of this predicament I heard movement outside in the cold and echoey room.
There were many cubicles – but it seemed that the anonymous person joining me had decided (against all unspoken but universally understood toilet etiquette) to choose the one immediately next to me.
To add insult to injury he also started talking to himself and then (through the wooden cubicle wall) asked me a question.
For the life of me though I can’t remember any of the things he asked me about.
When I responded however he immediately parroted my answer back to me, reflecting everything that I’d said to him in my own voice.
Could this be the worst public toilet experience in the world?
Actually no – because at this point I woke up – wondering what the heck this dream meant.
Checking Google in the cold light of day suggests a variety of things relating to different bathroom dreams – such as me needing to release emotions or feeling like I’m unable to get any personal space.
None of them ring true – and universally fail to provide any suggestions about what the mirroring of my answers means – or why the man in the next cubicle appeared to have my own voice.
The simple explanation for the bathroom dream is that I actually needed the loo – which in this case was absolutely bang on the money.
After making a note of the dream I hurriedly headed to the smallest room of the house and engaged my sprinkler system.
Once finished I went straight back to bed and immediately nodded off.
As with many odd dreams though I find that now I’m awake again I’m mildly preoccupied with it.
I’m not worried or obsessing over it’s meaning mind you. I think I know what it relates to.
Control or a perception that I’ve not had any in certain areas of my life.
For a while I’ve felt that events have been controlling me rather than the other way around.
Over the last few days however I’ve turned something of a mental corner – and amongst other things I’m once again filling in regular food diaries.
Before the end of September I looked back on some of my old posts from around the same time in 2017. In these was following #onplanoctober (link) and decided I’d resurrect the practice again for a month.
Last time I did this the results were undeniably positive (link) and over the course of few weeks the extra focus showed some really positive progress towards my target weight.
Although I was a heavier back then and my goal now is maintenance rather than significant losses it makes sense to do it again.
I dutifully started on the 1st and am keeping a notepad file of all my exercise and what I consume on my phone.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this.
For a long time I honestly felt that I’d ‘cracked it’ – and didn’t really need to write anything down anymore because food diaries were for people still trying to get to target.
However I’m also really aware that I’m not yet back in target.
Furthermore – due to being ill (I’m still not at my best but much improved in case you wondered) I didn’t weigh in last Saturday.
I’ve also booked a holiday with Angie for this coming week because I’ve had exciting plans on that day for months…
The problem with this is that knowing I’m not going to stand on scales for a couple of weeks will almost certainly invoke my natural tendency to mentally relax and indulge a little.
It’s a slippery slope though – and regardless of how far you’ve come, whatever awards you’ve been given or whether or not you’ve appeared in the media being touted as someone that’s ‘succeeded’ YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN.
A little can soon become a lot and I’m only too aware of my proclivities in this area.
I’m not just a high achiever in the field of weight loss – I’m a flipping guru in the field of weight gain as well.
A few years ago I managed to lose ten stone (this isn’t my first journey on the tubby train) and then put it all back on at the rate of over a stone a month.
If my ability to gain weight was transposed into the field of martial arts I’d basically be Bruce Lee.
I’m that good.
The truth is that I really don’t want to write anything down.
In fact it’s the absolute last thing I want to do – and this tells me something really important.
If I don’t want to do it it’s because I’m hiding from the reality of what I’m capable of eating when I’m not 100% on plan.
Deep down I not only know that I want to over eat – but that given half a chance I will.
I also know what I need to eat in order to maintain my target weight – and I’m writing a diary to make 100% sure I’m consuming it and no more.
Since doing the same old things often results in bad behaviour I’m also switching up my routines and changing my meal times so that I stand a better chance of avoiding danger periods (usually in the evening) where I’m more likely to over indulge.
For a few months I’ve also been (mostly unconsciously) avoiding carbohydrate rich ingredients too – and I’m re-introducing some of these free foods to my meals purely for the sake of variety.
I don’t post pictures of food very often because I feel that this is something that the internet (and particularly Instagram) is already overwhelmed with.
The world really doesn’t need another guy like me posting pictures of his dinner every day.
In this case though I think it’s relevant – if for no other reason but to illustrate that I’ve used noodles in my stir fry for the first time in absolutely ages and I really enjoyed it.
In this case I used a couple of pre prepared stir fry vegetable and mushroom packs from Aldi, a few chicken breast strips, a load more mushrooms, a ‘cake’ of Sainsburys dried egg noodles (these have been in my cupboard for around two years!) garlic, a chicken stock cube and Worcestershire sauce to create something absolutely delicious.
But that’s not all…
It may sound nuts but I’ve only just realised that when making a stir fry (at least the way I usually do it) there’s a lot of water generated by the veg.
I’m sure I’m just not cooking it fast enough – but I don’t have a wok – and getting things REALLY HOT with spray oil never works out well in my experience.
So, rather than trying to cook the liquid off (your stir fry just gets mushy and overcooked if you do) or pour it away (meaning all that lovely flavour is suddenly lost) putting dried noodles in the middle of it neatly absorbs all of the excess fluid – and also has the added benefit of infusing the noodles with wonderful flavour.
Previously I’d always cooked the noodles separately – so this discovery is something of a revelation to me.
The taste difference is genuinely noticeable – and if you’ve never tried this then I recommend giving it a go!
Anyway – as you might expect I’ve been out and about walking since quite early – and have just stopped for fuel.
Since I’ve posted one picture of my dinner I may as well give you one of my lunch.
Sharing is caring after all…
In my case lunch happens to be another concession to carbs and is a chicken enchilada from La Tasca.
Thanks to my Wuntu app (which gives you lots of lovely deals and free things if you’re a 3 mobile customer) this meal set me back a wonderfully frugal £3.
Since the price is usually around £12 (which I consider too steep) and my mobile bill is £9 a month (from which I typically also get a couple of free coffees at Costa and Greggs) I can’t fault this particular indulgence.
On the plus side I also know that La Tasca’s toilet walls will NOT close in on me and the loo seat will not be covered in soil.
As far as I’m concerned internet that’s a win win win situation .